Like Smoking For Dogs, Only Worse
Canine obesity is deadlier for a dog than a lifetime of smoking is for a human being. And yet more than half the dogs in America -- more than 35 million animals in all! -- are overweight.
We aim to change all that.
We're Varsity Pets, a small business devoted to stopping the canine obesity epidemic. We've helped tens of thousands of dogs get fit and active with our exercise toys and other cool canine gear.
And now we're creating two powerful new weapons in the war against canine obesity -- a mobile application that will help dog owners save their best friends' lives and a tell-all book that exposes the causes of and solutions to the epidemic.
But we need your help.
As Seen On...
Jump to Specific Location
- The Problem -- About Canine Obesity
- The Mobile App -- "Kibblr"
- The Book -- "Fit Dogs Live Forever"
- About the Author
- About Varsity Pets
- Get Free Stuff by Sharing With Your Friends
The Problem -- About Canine Obesity
There are about thirty-seven million dogs in the United States that need your help too. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, that's the number of overweight dogs in the United States today. It's a number that represents more than half of the pet dogs in the country.
In other words, statistically-speaking, your dog is probably overweight.
Which should worry you, for at least two reasons:
(1) A recent study confirms that being just moderately overweight shortens canine lifespan by more than 14% and raises the risk of premature death in dogs by more than 200%. That makes being overweight deadlier for a dog than a lifetime of smoking is for a human being. Literally.
(2) According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 2 out of every 5 overweight dogs in the U.S. belong to owners who innocently (but mistakenly) believe that their dogs are in optimal physical condition. That's more than sixteen million dog owners who don't even know there's anything wrong with their dogs. With dogs who are paying the deadly price for their owners' innocent mistakes.
By any measure, the canine obesity epidemic is one of the greatest public health crises facing dogs in America today.
But it doesn't have to be...
We've created a mobile application that we think will go a long way towards stopping the canine obesity epidemic once and for all. It's called Kibblr.
Unlike human foods, which are sold with detailed nutritional
fact panels, the labels on most dog food products are next-to-useless if
you want to help your dog lose weight and get fit.
Most don't even include meaningful calorie information, the suggested servings sizes are usually way too large, and you need an advanced degree and a calculator just to figure out how much carbohydrate is in your dog's breakfast.
In the end, it's all that a dog owner can do to guess how much food their dog really needs. And we believe that's a big reason why more than half the dogs in America are overweight or obese.
Kibblr is designed to solve that problem.
Here's how it works:
You tell Kibblr about your dog, then Kibblr tells you exactly how much of your dog's specific food your dog really needs. Kibblr's algorithms are based on published, peer-reviewed veterinary research and the Kibblr database includes hundreds of common dog foods (and updates regularly), so any dog owner can use it.
Just tell Kibblr about your dog...
Then let Kibblr tell you how much food your dog really needs...
You can also track your dog's weight loss progress...
Chat with friends...
And get fitness tips directly from the experts at Varsity Pets...
We've already conducted the research and created the algorithms needed to power Kibblr. We've done most of the design work associated with it too.
Now our development team is ready to take the first iOS version of the application over the goal line. And they can get it all done in a matter of months. But we need your help in order to fund the final stages of the development process.
But this campaign is about more than just a fat-fighting mobile app. It's also about a
book that is going to blow the lid off the causes of the canine obesity epidemic and
teach dog owners everything they need to know to save their dogs'
But we'll let the book's author, our founder and CEO Daniel ("Coach Dan") Schulof, introduce that one...
Introducing "Fit Dogs Live Forever"
The working title of my book is "Fit Dogs Live Forever." I've been researching and writing it for more than two years. I consider it my life's work.
It's the story of my quest to understand why millions of America's beloved dogs are dying from obesity-related conditions every year and an instruction manual for teaching every dog owner the simple strategies they need to save their dogs.
Think Fast Food Nation meets Marley and Me meets The Four-Hour Body.
The book covers everything you need to know about the canine obesity
epidemic, from the biochemistry of how dogs get fat to the sneaky ways
that Big Kibble packs its products with cheap, fattening ingredients.
My insights are based on published scientific evidence, all
brought to life through amazing stories of fat-fighting veterinarians
and others on the front line of the war against canine obesity.
Here are just some of the folks who have agreed to be interviewed for the book:
-- Trevor Thomas, blind motivational speaker and long-distance hiker. Trevor has completed the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail and dozens of other record-setting, ultra-distance wilderness treks with only Tennille, his guide dog, for company.
-- Victoria Stilwell, celebrity dog trainer, author, television personality, founder of Positively Dog Training, and star of "It's Me or the Dog" and "Greatest American Dog."
-- Christmas Abbott, nationally-recognized Reebok CrossFit Games athlete and model (and first-ever female NASCAR pit crew member) and mom to Fran, an English Bulldog.
-- Kyra Sundance, nationally-recognized celebrity dog trainer, performer, ultramarathoner, and author.
-- John Durant, NYT best-selling author of "The Paleo Manifesto," health entrepreneur, and Harvard evolutionary psychologist.
-- Dr. Rolf O. Peterson, biologist, author of "The Wolves of Isle Royale," and expert on the ecology and behavior of grey wolves.-- Patrick Vlaskovits, founder of PaleoHacks.com, NYT best-selling author, and paleo lifestyle expert.
-- Chris Kresser, NYT best-selling author of "Your Personal Paleo Code."
If you'd like to read some of the content yourself, you can download a chapter outline here:
And you can download a free copy of the first chapter here:
I believe that "Fit Dogs Live Forever" is a hugely important book that can help a lot of dog-owners and save a lot of dogs. And, in order to make sure that it does its job effectively, I believe that it's vital that I make it the best that it can be.
So, while much of the manuscript is complete, there's a considerable amount of (expensive) work that remains to be done. Notably, making these interviews (and more) happen; producing the necessary illustrations, photographs, and cover art; content editing; print and production; marketing; and distribution.
But these are expenses that can't be spared if I want "Fit Dogs Live Forever" to help as many dogs as possible. Which is why this campaign is about raising the money needed to maximize the book's potential.
Am I the right person to deliver this important message? I like to think so. But if you'd rather decide for yourself, here's a bit more about me and why it's my personal mission to fight canine obesity.
My life revolves around two things: my love of dogs and my obsession with physical fitness.
I'm an Ironman-distance triathlete and ultramarathoner. I'm also a
nerd. Researching and understanding the science of physical performance
and nutrition is my personal obsession. It's what has allowed me to
compete at a high level in the world's toughest endurance races, despite
being a desk jockey without much genetic potential.
My best friend is named Kody. He's a dog.
Like any other loving dog-owner, I consider it my duty to give Kody the best life that I reasonably can. So, as he grew from a puppy into an adult, I found my research efforts drifting further and further into the science of canine health and well-being and away from human issues.
And that's how I learned about the canine obesity epidemic.
As my research continued, I came to learn about how a small group of mammoth dog food corporations ("Big Kibble") were causing the epidemic. They were influencing the regulators that were supposed to be protecting our dogs, manipulating consumers, and packing our dogs full of sugary, fattening ingredients.
I was outraged and I was scared. But I realized that, fundamentally, three things would go a long way towards saving America's dogs: (1) millions of dog owners needed a wake-up call to the extent of the problem, (2) those same folks needed useful products and real, evidence-backed advice on how to save their dogs, and (3) the anti-obesity movement needed a leader.
I thought I could help. And stopping canine obesity seemed like a worthy goal. So I quit my job as a lawyer and started a company.
The company I founded is called Varsity Pets. Its sole mission is to stop the canine obesity epidemic. I started it, from scratch, in my living room.
We make some pretty cool stuff.
Like the Varsity Ball, a 110% GUARANTEED INDESTRUCTIBLE toy that dogs use to exercise themselves without any human interaction:
We also invented Drool Fuel, a canine sports supplement that keeps active dogs hydrated, full of energy, and at the top of their game:
In less than three years, we've helped tens of thousands of dogs manage their weight and stay fit and active.
This campaign is simply the next phase of our mission.
The Perks of Helping Us Stop Canine Obesity
***NEW PRIZE ALERT!!!***
***AUTOGRAPHED BOOKS FROM BEST-SELLING AUTHORS!!!***
Some of the biggest dog-loving names in the world of literature are already behind our quest to end the canine obesity epidemic. And they've graciously offered-up personally-autographed copies of some of their most popular books as prizes for our contributors. We're making them available to you in a raffle-style format. Check out the great titles:
Victoria Stilwell -- "Train Your Dog Positively"
Kyra Sundance -- "101 Dog Tricks"
James Altucher -- "Choose Yourself"
Tucker Max -- "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell"
Ryan Holiday -- "Trust Me, I'm Lying"
Chris Kresser -- "Your Personal Paleo Code"
We'll be raffling the books off on the last day of our campaign -- each raffle ticket is $5, and you can get up to 20 tickets per person. Kody and Coach Dan will draw winners on the last day of the the campaign!
need your help in order to produce Kibblr and "Fit Dogs Live Forever."
But, in our humble opinion, it'll be worth it. Because our supporters will receive some great perks
in exchange for their support:
First of all, if you decide to
support our quest, we hope that you'll feel a good deal of pride for
saving the world's overweight dogs and helping their loving owners.
Second, we'll send you supporter-only updates and adorable personal thank-yous:
Third, you'll have the chance to be among the first people in the world to get your paws on Kibblr and "Fit Dogs Live Forever."
Fourth, you can get great deals on Varsity Pets gear, including Varsity Balls, Junior Varsity Balls, Drool Fuel, and even this cool t-shirt:
We've even got a rewards pack for folks who don't own dogs!
No matter who you are or what you and your dogs are into, there's truly something for everyone.
We know that this campaign is only going to succeed if our dog-loving supporters help us spread the word about it. So we did our best to make sharing fun, easy, and lucrative for our supporters.
That's right, you can win cool prizes simply by sharing our campaign with your friends and family.
Stuff like a year's worth of BarkBoxes, giftcards to popular online pet services, and even refunds of your campaign contributions.
And it couldn't be easier to participate. It will literally take you thirty seconds and about four mouse-clicks.
Want to learn more? Here's a tutorial.
From everyone at Varsity Pets and on behalf of millions of at-risk dogs, thanks so much for your support!